Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Jr., USN (25 October 1888 - 11 March 1957) was an American naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics. Aircraft flights, in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau. Byrd claimed that his expeditions had been the first to reach the North Pole and the South Pole by air. However, the majority of polar experts are now of the opinion that Roald Amundsen has the first verifiable claim to each pole. Byrd was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for heroism given by the United States.